Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Civilization 4: User Interface & Multimedia

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  

  • Civilization 4: User Interface & Multimedia

    The production overlay doesn't block view of the main mapAs mentioned elsewhere [see Game World], the world in which Civilization IV is set is fully 3D and very much alive and animated. There are also Wonder movies, and Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek) has been hired as voice actor to record the quotes that accompany new technologies. For a strategic overview, players can zoom out all the way to space and see the world as a globe. In this Globe View, numerous filters are available to facilitate strategizing: Culture, Resources, Units, etc. The User Interface has gotten an overhaul, it is now much more modern and should be very familiar to RTS players. Left-click selects a unit, right-click moves it. The path the unit will follow is indicated as well as the time it takes him to get to his destination.

    The key phrase for the game is "What You See Is What You Get", or WYSIWYG: the entire game is aimed to be playable on the main map. You can see what Buildings and Wonders a City has, which tiles it's working, what it's producing, when it will grow and what Religions and defenses it has -- all from the main map. When production in a City is complete, a transparant overlay will pop up and let you choose a new item to produce without blocking the main map [see above]. The Advance under research and its progress is also visible at all times, as well as the state of the treasury and the science and Culture sliders [see second image, below]. A list of known diplomatic contacts is also visible on screen, along with information about their State Religion and what deals you have with them [see third image]. Contacting them or declaring war is only one click away. Tool tips and pop-ups will inform the user of what's going on (e.g. the outcome of a battle) and what to do next. When the active unit is offscreen, a marker tells the player where it is [see last image].

    The item being researched and the tax sliders are always on screen

    The map can be zoomed out to a globe view, which is very useful for looking at cultural spread, religion spread, military threats, resource locations, and city prosperity. The map has several layers which can be toggled: Resources, Culture, Trade, Units, Religions, Strategy. The strategy layer, for instance, allows lines to be drawn on the map to note strategies and tactics. Automation of workers returns - you can assign your workers to set up trade routes, improve specific cities or let them cut loose and improve everything in sight.

    An overview of all known contacts is always visible Only power users will ever need to use the various advisor screens and menus that the game offers. Most players can stay on the main map most of the time. Many of the same screens that existed in Civ3 return in Civilization IV, such as the foreign, domestic and military advisors and the in-game tech tree, and there will of course be new screens for things like Civics and Religions. You can adjust the amount of information that is displayed on the HUD, including things such as city names and sizes; or go for a minimalist approach and take it down to just units, cities and roads with no names. If that isn't enough for you, the entire User Interface is being coded in Python so that fans can easily improve or extend it.

    The multimedia presentation of the game benefits from several touches. For instance, when you click on a unit, it will respond in the language of your selected civilization. The game's presentation relies very heavily on music, so much so that Firaxis president Jeff Briggs is personally taking charge of the game's score. Since music was Jeff's first career (he did, among other things, the music for the original Pirates!) he's well equipped to handle the composition and music selection tasks required here. As a result of this the game has more music than any previous Civ game, possibly more than any other game ever released! Not only does the game include many of Jeff's original compositions, it also includes licensed performances of pieces by classic composers (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc) as well as contemporary greats like John Adams and soon-to-be greats like Christopher Tin.

    A marker indicates where the active Unit isJeff also composed the music for the 28 new wonder movies included in the game and all of the diplomacy music. Where possible he's tried to use folk tunes that represent the character and attitude of each civilization and each ruler. The music for Franklin D. Roosevelt for instance is the Marine Hymn. Jeff's even gone so far as to arrange each piece to suit the various time periods of the game. If you meet with Roosevelt in the early part of the game, you'll hear ancient instruments playing the theme. By the end of the game, the tune will have swelled and taken on a more Sousa-like quality.

      Posting comments is disabled.

    Article Tags

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Civilization 4: Release Date & System Requirements
      by Martin Gühmann
      Civilization IV was originally scheduled to be released in November 2005, but that was pushed forward to October 25, 2005. Civilization IV: Warlords will be released in the Summer of 2006. The System Requirements for Civilization IV are the following: Minimum System Requirements: Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP Processor: 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent Memory: 256 MB RAM (Windows 2000) / 512 MB RAM (Windows XP) Hard Disk Space: 1.7 GB Free CD-ROM Drive : 4X Speed Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB video card with Hardware T&L support ( GeForce 2/Radeon 7500 or better) Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c (included) or higher Recommended System Requirements: Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent Memory: 512 MB RAM Hard Disk Space: 1.7 GB Free CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed Video: 128 MB Video Card w/ DirectX 8 support (pixel & vertex shaders) Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c (included) or higher Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000: Service Pack 1 or higher WITH Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher Windows XP: Home or Professional w/ Service Pack 1 or higher...
      August 9, 2012, 16:21
    • Civilization 4: Fan Input
      by Martin Gühmann
      In his 2004 GDC presentation, Soren Johnson mentions The List for Civ3, noting that with its 200,000 words it's about 25,000 words longer than the New Testament. He's familiar with this list and therefore the wishes of the fan community. Also, during its development, Soren repeatedly posted in our Apolyton forum to indicate that he was keeping track of The List for Civ IV, and after its completion in January 2005 he said:...
      August 9, 2012, 16:19
    • Civilization 4: Development
      by Martin Gühmann

      Development on Civilization IV began roughly in the Spring of 2003, it was released 25 October 2005. It is being published by 2K Games, a relatively new publishing label of Take-Two Interactive, which is a historic break from Microprose/Hasbro/Infogrames/Atari. 2K Games will also publish Civilization IV: Warlords (expected Summer 2006) and any other possible future expansion packs for Civilization IV. The following is an overview of the history of Civilization IV's development (and how it relates to other major developments at Firaxis, such as the Civ3 expansion packs and Pirates!):

      ...
      August 9, 2012, 16:15
    • Civilization 4: Multiplayer
      by Martin Gühmann
      Civilization IV has Multiplayer support from the outset. Firaxis already had a working version of MP in the Fall of 2003 and throughout development Firaxians played 4+ hour MP games in their own time on Wednesday nights. For Civ4, Firaxis went ahead and designed a multiplayer game first, which has paid off dividends for the single-player game. "We got all the rules set using the multiplayer engine, and then by using that, we learned what players would do. And that helped us write the AI," Firaxis president Jeff Briggs said. There are many different forms of MP available in Civ4. Players are able to play everything from quick games of a few hours -- online with the Fast game mode and simultaneous turns -- to protracted games that are stretched out over months -- turn-based PBEM with the Marathon game mode. The forms of MP that Civ4 supports are: LAN, Internet, PBEM (Play-By-Email), Hotseat and Pitboss. It will support both simultaneous turns and classic turn-based mode. GameSpy will be used for Internet match-making. An improved random map generator ensures equal starting positions for all players. The server browser in the game will include buddy list functionality to keep track of your friends easier. Meanwhile, Firaxis will cull all sorts of statistics from multiplayer matches, which will let it rank players, which is aimed to avoid some of the frustration when you find yourself in a multiplayer match with ruthless Civ pros....
      August 9, 2012, 16:13
    • Civilization 4: Modding
      by Martin Gühmann
      Screenshots Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Modding The 1996 release of Sid Meier's Civilization II represented a huge step forward for the series (which was originally created in 1991), and the change that probably had the most significant long-term impact on the Civ community, was the addition of the concept of fan-created content. The fact that people are still creating and sha...
      August 9, 2012, 16:07
    • Civilization 4: User Interface & Multimedia
      by Martin Gühmann
      As mentioned elsewhere [see Game World], the world in which Civilization IV is set is fully 3D and very much alive and animated. There are also Wonder movies, and Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek) has been hired as voice actor to record the quotes that accompany new technologies. For a strategic overview, players can zoom out all the way to space and see the world as a globe. In this Globe View, numerous filters are available to facilitate strategizing: Culture, Resources, Units, etc. The User Interface has gotten an overhaul, it is now much more modern and should be very familiar to RTS players. Left-click selects a unit, right-click moves it. The path the unit will follow is indicated as well as the time it takes him to get to his destination. The key phrase for the game is "What You See Is What You Get", or WYSIWYG: the entire game is aimed to be playable on the main map. You can see what Buildings and Wonders a City has, which tiles it's working, what it's producing, when it will grow and what Religions and defenses it has -- all from the main map. When production in a City is complete, a transparant overlay will pop up and let you choose a new item to produce without blocking the main map [see above]. The Advance under research and its progress is also visible at all times, as well as the state of the treasury and the science and Culture sliders [see second image, below]. A list of known diplomatic contacts is also visible on screen, along with information about their State Religion and what deals you have with them [see third image]. Contacting them or declaring war is only one click away. Tool tips and pop-ups will inform the user of what's going on (e.g. the outcome of a battle) and what to do next. When the active unit is offscreen, a marker tells the player where it is [see last image]....
      August 9, 2012, 16:03
    Working...
    X